Perhaps getting fed up with rapidly deploying identity verification systems and fraud-fighting platforms crisscrossing the transactional world, cybercrooks are growing fiendishly selective.
In PYMNTS new CFO’s Guide To Digitizing B2B Payments done in collaboration with Comdata, we learn about the recent spate of spear-phishing attacks targeting executives in corporate accounting and treasury departments. Talk about following the money.
And while not technologically sophisticated per se, such incidents show how fraudsters are now trying to “compromise specific individuals rather than perpetrate wide-ranging schemes, and this tactic is often intended to trick targets into revealing sensitive information.”
Trickster-fraudsters are very bad news for accounting departments currently dealing with a deluge of COVID-era remote onboarding challenges. The latest CFO’s Guide To Digitizing B2B Payments is a compendium of news and insights to help thwart these new attacks.
Finance Teams Adjust To WFH
Just when financial institutions (FIs) and merchants were starting to get a handle on cybertheft, COVID-19 manifested untold new opportunities for financial crime. That had a lot to do with the fact that few groups were prepared to work from home, least of all finance teams.
“The quick shift to remote work during the pandemic’s onset caught many companies off guard. A recently released survey of CFOs at 250 large and mid-sized businesses revealed that just 14 percent were capable of enabling their financial teams to work entirely from home by the time the pandemic hit,” the report states, adding, “Another 75 percent of CFO respondents said they had to make major operational changes before financial staff could meet all their responsibilities remotely.”
Happily, 47 percent of firms that made changes prior or that moved fast during COVID said “customer experience improved 40 percent” and about the same for vendor. “These shifts have not eased all concerns, however. Seventy-seven percent of CFOs noted that their financial teams were worried about being adequately prepared for newly automated processes, illustrating that additional training could be an important component of AP upgrades.”
Tech Fixes To COVID-Era Accounting
With so much thought now bent on achieving real-time payments (RTP) ubiquity, CFOs are making decisions on systems that must not only secure the flow of sensitive information to a remote workforce, but also protect against money so fast that it can’t be recovered.
“Companies that are adopting new technologies to help operations run smoothly from home are also often dependent on third-party solution providers. Such businesses must ensure they have robust methods for vetting these solution providers, however, or else they could find themselves exposed to new risks. Any mistakes could be devastating as third-party data breaches can cost companies as much as $7.5 million,” the new report states.
Advanced platforms and cloud-based financial systems do present new fraud attack vectors, but they are also the best hope for defeating waves of pandemic-powered fakery.
“The cybersecurity and fraud risks facing companies during the pandemic are likely to become more sophisticated as bad actors seek to take advantage of this year’s disruptions,” per the report. “CFOs that invest now in the right strategies, personnel, ML tools and AP technologies can best protect their organizations and prepare for future threats.”